Learning Arabic Ramadan Studio Arabiya Blog

10 Names of the Quran

10 Names of the Quran

10 Names of the Quran
The Quran has many names, let’s learn a few of them!

Did you know that the Quran has other names? As we get closer to the halfway point of the blessed month of Ramadan – the month during which the Quran was first sent down – let’s dive into 10 Names of the Quran in Arabic!


10 Names of the Quran

1. Al-Quran – الْقُرْآن

This is the name that most people know, even non-Muslims. But what does it mean? It is a noun that comes from the Arabic root letters ق ر أ which mean to declaim, to recite, to read. It therefore refers to the fact that the Words of Allah SWT have been orally recited to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) by Angel Jibreel (AS). We find this noun 50 times in the Quran itself.


Interestingly, we can derive the verb قَرَأَ from these same root letters, which means to read/recite but also to know, to learn, and اِستَقْرَأَ which means to investigate, to search, to explore, to study thoroughly. Too often, we only think about the recitation part when we think about the Book of Allah SWT.


This is a very clear invitation for the believer to read and recite the Quran as much as possible. However, it should not be done heedlessly. We should put in the effort to try and understand Allah’s SWT Words as well, so that we can apply them in our lives, fully benefit from them and hope that they will intercede for us on the Day of Judgment.


إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ

“Indeed, it is a noble Qur’an” (56:77)


2. Al-Furqaan – الْفُرْقَان

The name Al-Furqaan is also relatively well known as we find it in the only ayah (verse) that mentions the month of Ramadan by name (2:185) and there is also a Surah (chapter) that is titled Al-Furqaan.


In Arabic, it comes from the root letters ف ر ق and we usually translate it as “the criterion”, i.e. what allows us to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil, virtue and vice. “The Differentiator” is another translation that you might find for this very powerful name. This is exactly what the Quran is, hence the name.


تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا

“Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner” (25:1)


3. Al-Kitaab – الْكِتَاب

This word comes from the root letters ك ت ب which mean to write, to record, but also to destine, to prescribe, to foreordain.


When someone starts learning Arabic, كِتَاب [kitaab] is usually among the first words that he or she will learn, and it means “book”. With the added ال [al], it makes it definite, therefore unique – the book. The Quran is indeed the Book of reference in Islam, the Book of Allah SWT.


It emphasizes the fact that the Quran is also a written record of the divine words and commands, as were orally revealed to the Prophet (SAWS). But it also highlights that the Quran is Allah’s SWT prescription to the believers, a blueprint to use as guidance for the life of this world and the life of the hereafter. 


ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah” (2:2)


4. Adh-Dhikr – الذِّكْر

The word “dhikr” probably rings a bell for you: we do dhikr when we say “subhanAllah”, “alhamdulillah”, “Allahu Akbar”, when we do our morning and evening adhkaar and so on and so forth. But did you know that it is also one of the names of the Quran?


In Arabic, the root letters ذ ك ر mean to remember, bear in mind, think (of), name, mention. When we do “dhikr”, we remember Allah SWT, we mention Him. He SWT is present in our mind and our heart and on our tongue. The fact that the Quran is also called “adh-dhikr” shows how this precious Book is a source of reminder and remembrance for the believer. It helps the believer remember Allah SWT, reminds them of their purpose in this life, their duties and rights as well, and the consequences of their actions.


 بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ ۗ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“[We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.” (16:44)


5. At-Tanzeel – التَّنْزِيل

The word “tanzeel” comes from the root letters ن ز ل – to descend, come down. Specifically, the Arabic word “tanzeel”, because of its structure, refers to something that comes down progressively, over a long period of time. However, we usually translate this name as “the Revelation” which doesn’t do justice to the nuance of this word.


The Quran is called “at-tanzeel” because it was sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) over a long period of time – 23 years to be precise. It was not sent down all at once or in a very short span, because it would have been too heavy a burden for the believers.


وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“And indeed, the Qur’an is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds.” (26:192)


6. Al-Huda – الْهُدَىٰ

Coming from the root letters ه د ى – to guide, to lead on the right way, to show the way – the name “al-Huda” is usually translated as “the Guidance”, which is exactly what the Quran is. Not just for the believer but for all of humanity.


It guides the individual but also families, communities, and societies in faith, ethics, law and spirituality, giving an all-encompassing blueprint for success in this life and the next. Only the Quran can give us this Divine Guidance we all need.


شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ

“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” (2:185)


7. An-Noor – ألنُّور

As many might know, the word “nur” comes from the root letters ن و ر which mean to light, to enlighten, to illuminate. In short, “nur” means “light”.


The Quran is the Light that Allah SWT sent down to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) for all of humanity. It illuminates the right path and enlightens those who approach it with sincerity, seeking its wisdom and guidance. It is a source of Light, no matter how dark our times can get.


فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالنُّورِ الَّذِي أَنزَلْنَا ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

“So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Qur’an which We have sent down. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (64:8)


8. Ash-Shifaa’ – الشِّفاء

This name comes from the root letters ش ف ى which mean to cure, to heal, so this name is usually translated as “the Healing”.


When we hear the word “cure” or “healing”, we usually think of a well-known medicine or medical treatment, rather than just a book. But the Quran is not just a book. Allah SWT sent down the Quran also as a source of healing not only for physical ailments but also for spiritual and mental challenges. So let’s make sure we pick up our mushaf, read from it and ponder upon it to find the cures that we need for our illnesses and difficulties insha’Allah.


وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا

“And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” (17:82)


9. Al-Haqq – الْحَقّ

The Arabic word “Haqq” comes from the root letters ح ق ق which mean to be true, to be right, to be correct, to ascertain. The name “al-Haqq” is usually translated as “the Truth”, but what does it mean exactly?


It means that the Quran is the source of ultimate Truth, because it is the Word of Allah SWT. It distinguishes between what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is correct and inappropriate. There is no doubt about it.


وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَآمَنُوا بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۙ كَفَّرَ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَأَصْلَحَ بَالَهُمْ

“And those who believe and do righteous deeds and believe in what has been sent down upon Muhammad – and it is the truth from their Lord – He will remove from them their misdeeds and amend their condition.” (47:2)


10. Ar-Rahmah – الرَّحْمَة

This name comes from the root letters ر ح م – to have mercy, to have compassion. It reminds us of two of the most well-known names of Allah SWT: Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem, which talks to the limitless and bountiful Mercy of Our Creator. But what is “rahmah” exactly and how does it apply to the Quran?


The word “rahmah” carries the meanings of compassion, sympathy, grace, and includes the idea of a human understanding, therefore something that will touch our hearts and our minds. This is what the Quran does, in so many different ways, through stories, warnings, imagery, self-help tips, and clear rules. Not only does it show us – human beings – mercy, it also encourages us to seek Allah’s SWT Mercy as well as show one another mercy.


وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

“And We had certainly brought them a Book which We detailed by knowledge – as guidance and mercy to a people who believe.” (7:52)


The Quran has many other names that reflect all of the qualities and benefits it brings to humanity, being the Word of Allah SWT. Let’s prepare for Ramadan by continuing to delve into these names and attributes insha’Allah!


May Allah SWT open our hearts to His Book so that we can benefit from its many bounties, ameen!


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This article was originally published in our Studio Arabiya Times magazine (Winter 2023-24). CLICK HERE to read the whole magazine!

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